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Live tolerance, love

| Thursday, November 18, 2004

We e-mailed the articles to each other. It wasn’t the first time we’d heard such intolerance. But it was the first time we’d heard such nonsense since learning that two family members – our brothers and sons – were gay.

The letters hurt and angered us. Our brothers and sons don’t have less “dignity” because they are gay. There is no inherent “brokenness” in their lives.

They are athletes and scholars … caring family members … able and confident co-workers … trusted friends … the life of the party. We know their hearts and their minds. And we know that they are as good – and deserve as much respect – as each of us.

Remarkably, one of the letters said that living a gay lifestyle hurts and degrades human dignity “because we are not defined by our sexuality.” Rather, we “are all defined in the same way, in the image and likeness of God.”

Hello?!! If we are not defined by our sexuality, but in the image and likeness of God, what exactly is the problem? Why should people’s sexuality matter? Do you think that God somehow makes a mistake – over and over again – in creating gay people? Or has the Church perhaps made a mistake?

Let’s face it, the Church is run by people with human weaknesses, and it has made mistakes over the years. Fortunately, the Church is also run by people of good conscience, who eventually realize their mistakes and make amends. We hope that day is coming for gays.

In the meantime, deciding how gay people should be treated isn’t that difficult. What would Jesus do? Would he put on a suit and tie – maybe chuck the sandals for some wingtips – and parade self-righteously around campus? Or would he extend a hand and say, “Gay? Fine by me.”

You know the answer. We all do. Let’s live it.

Richard P. Rector


Susan F. Rector


Megan M. Rector


class of 2000

Reid F. Rector


class of 2004

Nov. 18